• Best viewing areas in southeastern MA - freight especially?

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

  by gambler1650
Hi all, I'm a relative newcomer to the concept of train watching - mainly due to a renewed interest in model railroads and having a 3 year old son who's fascinated by trains. With the usual events curtailed a bit right now, I've been taking him to see the passenger trains at the station in Kingston, MA. We live near the Sagamore Bridge. I'm looking for a location with a bit more interest (for me as much as him) that's no more than 45 minutes away. Absolute maximum would be Providence to the west and Boston to the north. Any thoughts? When the train from Boston comes to Cape Cod in the summer that's a fun option of course, but as far as I can tell it's not active at present.

Thanks in advance!
  by elecuyer
Try Readville, Mass (in Hyde Park)
1800 Hyde Park Ave, Hyde Park, MA 02136

Lots of passenger trains coming and going. But with the currently reduced schedules, won't be as frequent.
Also there is some freight action, but pretty rare. There really isn't any options in SE Mass for frequent freight.

Pluses for Readville is that there is also a playground down the street (so I was told by a parent once doing train watching.) A Dunkin Donuts is also in the vicinity for food and toilet needs.

Negatives are the neighborhood is a bit "rough". I wouldn't say dangerous, but be aware of your surroundings (and go only during the day) and you will be fine. Also the high speed tracks are HIGH SPEED - some of the Amtrak trains go through at 100+ mph. Thrilling to watch - BUT STAY BACK!!!
  by Pat Fahey
Another location for freight action would be Palmer, Mass, at the Steamin Tender restaurant, right on the CSX mainline. Also if you get hungry, the restaurant is a great place to eat. I know Palmer is not in Southeastern, Mass, but a good location for freight train action. Palmer is about an hour away from the Boston area.
  by SOCO11
The Steaming Tender is a bit of a drive from the Cape but great for all the reasons stated before- I have two boys and we drove out a few times when they were younger and I can't think of a better place to really see up close freight activity and have restrooms, food and parking. Readville is not bad. I think it is safe enough during the day and there is a CSX freight that heads out every morning around 10 (I am sure another poster knows the time more accurately). From the Cape, Mansfield MA is just right off 495 and has all the NE corridor passenger trains and some freight activity.
  by Cosmo
I usually see that job switching around 8:30 am and heading up the Franklin Line around 9:00.
Last edited by MEC407 on Sat Apr 11, 2020 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: unnecessary quoting
  by roberttosh
Worcester is a bit closer than Palmer and has similar freight activity plus MBTA. Framingham is closer than Worcester, has more freight activity than anywhere in Southeastern MA but not nearly as much freight traffic as Worcester; more local and switching activity vs through traffic.
  by gambler1650
Hi all! Thanks for the advice. I really like the idea of the Steaming Tender, but that's probably beyond a simple day trip for us. Maybe in the fall combined with a camping trip or something. Midlleborough and Fall River may be the two best choices for us from the looks of it.
  by Dick H
Anyone fanning in the Pittsfield MA area, be advised that a CSX "official" recently ordered some fans to leave an area that has been used by fans for many years.